The schedules finally aligned for me to take engagement photos for my sister and her fiance this past weekend. I know I mentioned before how nervous I was to take their pictures because they aren't food and for some reason they wouldn't let me arrange them in a bowl and put some parsley on their heads and call it good. I hadn't taken formal pictures of people before, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. I learned there are some surprising advantages to taking pictures of human subjects over food, such as:
1) Humans smile in pictures. Much as I try, I can never quite get a bowl of pasta to crack a smile.
2) Humans move themselves. It's amazing. You can see something you want different in a picture and just tell your subject to move. I've never been able to able to get a dish to arrange its own garnishes, but my sister did really well at pulling her hair out of her face.
3) The ability to say "Work it" without looking creepy. (Maybe.)
4) Torturing my sister and future brother-in-law by making them hold a kiss for way longer than is comfortable.
I'm not sure I'm ready to start a business of taking engagement photos, seeing as I downloaded the pictures to my computer and realized that half of them weren't in focus on their faces, but at least it was a fun time and a good learning experience.
I was missing my human subjects when it came time to photograph this little dish because, no exaggeration, I've tried three times over the course of the past year to get a good picture of it and have failed horribly every time. Sometimes shredded meat from the slow cooker is just not as good to see as it is to taste, and this is one of those recipes. I kept taking pictures of it, though, because it is one of the staple dishes at our house and I really wanted to share it. It's extremely easy, very cheap, tastes good and makes such a large batch that my husband and I could quite possibly be eating leftovers of it for an entire week. (Not that we've done this. More than once. No, not at all.) It is one of those great, easy recipes that I found during my college days that I've been making ever since. I usually serve the cooked meat and bean mixture over some tortilla chips and lettuce as a kind of salad, but my husband likes to scoop it up with Fritos and I've put it in burritos or quesadillas when I'm out of chips. It may not be the sexiest looking dish to photograph, but it's one you'll love to have in your recipe collection.